Yesterday PEOPLE Magazine confirmed that Blake Shelton is the Sexiest Man Alive for 2017. Yesterday The New York Times reported that Time Inc, which owns both PEOPLE and TIME magazines, may be sold to Meredith Corporation. Meredith tried to buy Time Inc earlier this year but the deal fell through over money issues. Those money issues are no longer issues now because, according to the NYT, the Koch Brothers’ are putting up $500 million.
“An obstacle that stalled negotiations earlier this year was Meredith’s inability to secure sufficient financing from banks. With the addition of the Kochs, with their deep pockets and apparent desire to make themselves players on the media landscape, that problem could vanish.”
That desire to become “players on the media landscape” comes up again later in the article:
“The latest talks between Meredith and Time Inc. show the Koch brothers’ willingness to give their media ambitions another shot after they explored purchasing the Tribune Company in 2013.”
As you may know, the Koch brothers are very politically involved. Per the NYT:
“The brothers have continued to influence politics through a Koch-funded nonprofit conservative advocacy group founded in 2004, Americans for Prosperity. In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, the group spent more than $720 million to bolster conservative policy positions and candidates.”
All year I’ve been writing about how the sale of US Weekly to American Media Inc (AMI), the company that publishes The National Enquirer, Star Magazine etc, has affected the gossip landscape. AMI has been very sympathetic to Donald Trump. And now PEOPLE may be owned by the Koch brothers. Here’s a hypothetical question about what the future of entertainment reporting might look like: click here to read about the Kochs’ position on climate change and then think about the biggest name celebrity who’s most closely associated with environmental awareness. Probably Leonardo DiCaprio, right? In his documentary, Before The Flood, Leo specifically calls out the Koch brothers for being climate change deniers. If the sale of Time Inc to Meredith goes through, what will PEOPLE’s future coverage of Leo look like? And will Leo ever talk to PEOPLE? What impact will PEOPLE’s possible new ownership have on its celebrity relationships, if any? How will the Koch brothers use their possible new media properties to further their political motives? What role will PEOPLE have to play in that? Blake Shelton is PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive, just as the magazine’s ownership is in negotiations to become part of the Koch brothers intended media empire. Coincidence or conspiracy?
Yours in gossip,